Teachers Use IRIs to Help Struggling Readers
Keywords:Informal Reading Inventories, oral reading, reading level, comprehension questions, instructional level
During the past few decades, an extraordinary amount of public attention has been given to controversies regarding how reading is being taught, is not being taught, or how it should be taught. To address reading concerns, publishers have developed commercial reading programs which provide teachers with materials on a variety of reading levels for use in the classroom. These materials allow teachers to match the reading levels of students with the appropriate reading books. Within a typical classroom, the reading ability of the students will range from below grade level to above grade level. In order to accurately select books that are on a student's reading level, a teacher must assess the student's reading skills. Betts (1950) developed a simple technique for using graded reading books to evaluate children's reading levels. The technique, which he called an "Informal Reading Inventory," involved selecting a short passage from grade level readers several grade levels below and above the student's grade level. Next, several comprehension questions were written for each passage. The student was to read the passages aloud and to answer the questions. Results of the oral reading and the comprehension questions are analyzed to determine the student's reading level.